Cloud major Oracle will pay the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) more than $23 million to settle charges against the company for bribing officials in India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), thus violating provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in America.
The US SEC said in a statement that Oracle Corporation violated provisions of the FCPA "when subsidiaries in Turkey, the UAE and India created and used slush funds to bribe foreign officials in return for business between 2016 and 2019".
The SEC previously sanctioned Oracle in connection with the creation of slush funds.
In 2012, Oracle resolved charges relating to the creation of millions of dollars of "side funds by Oracle India, which created the risk that those funds could be used for illicit purposes", the US regulator said late on Tuesday.
The SEC's investigation was done with assistance from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, and the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority.
"The creation of off-book slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle's Turkey, UAE, and India subsidiaries," said Charles Cain, the SEC's FCPA Unit Chief.
"This matter highlights the critical need for effective internal accounting controls throughout the entirety of a company's operations," he added.
According to the SEC's order, Oracle subsidiaries in Turkey and UAE also used the slush funds to pay for foreign officials to attend technology conferences in violation of Oracle policies and procedures.
The order found that in some instances, employees of the Turkey subsidiary used these funds for the officials' families to accompany them on international conferences or take side trips to California.
"Without admitting or denying the SEC's findingsa, Oracle agreed to "pay approximately $8 million in disgorgement and a $15 million penalty", said the US regulator.